School leavers often feel lost in deciding what path to take next when faced with leaving school. Did you know, there are other options than just University or College? More students are considering Apprenticeships, that can even result in gaining a degree.

Apprenticeships are a real job, providing hands-on work experience, a salary and the chance to train while you work. You’re treated just like all the other employees, with a contract of employment and holiday leave. The latest Department for Education report stated there was a 32% increase in 2017-18 Apprenticeship uptake with more than 48,000 people starting a higher or degree level Apprenticeship.

But how does an Apprenticeship compare to the experience of following the full-time University route?

Will you have to pay for your study/training?
If you go to University full time, you must pay back your fees and any student loans. With an Apprenticeship, all your qualifications and training will be either paid for by your employer or funded by the government, so you won’t have any debts.

Will you get the experience of work while studying?
As an Apprentice, you will spend 80% of your time on the job and 20% of the job training. (Off the Job Training (OJT) can include training that is delivered at the Apprentice’s normal place of work, but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties.) You will be employed in a work-based environment and gaining valuable work experience. This is an excellent opportunity to earn transferable and professional skills. At University, you may be able to undertake work experience, internship within your programme, but this is not guaranteed.

Will you earn a salary?
You will be earning a salary straight away as an Apprentice, working for a real company, doing a real job and being paid an actual wage, with all the same rights as other employees including holiday leave entitlements. Whereas at University, you will only be earning a salary if you find yourself a part-time job around your studies.

Can you achieve a Degree?
You can achieve a degree with both the Apprenticeship and University pathways. Apprenticeships are available in a wide selection of sectors and there are lots of degree programmes available.

You can also apply for both Apprenticeship and University degrees.

Will you have access to an NUS (National Union of Students) Card?
All students, whether Apprentices or full-time University students have access to a NUS card. It gives you access to some great discounts and offers from shops and restaurants, to a range of different activities.

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